Bill Wiggin MP’s ram Pedro has taken this year’s title of Reserve Champion at The Ryeland Flock Book Annual Show and Sale held at Ludlow Livestock Market.
Members of Bill’s ‘Parliamentary Flock’, who were show by daughter Rosie (ten) and sons Jack and Toby (seven, five) also won first prize in two of the events individual classes.
Ryelands are an ancient breed of sheep originating from Leominster. Here, some 800 years ago in the twelfth century, local monks grazed their flocks on the surrounding ryegrass pastures – giving rise to the name.
It would appear that the Ryeland really is the sheep with the golden fleece. Its soft and resilient wool, which is reputed to fill the Woolsack in the House of Lords, was once known as ‘Lemster Ore’ for the amount of wealth it generated.
Bill, who has been breeding Ryelands for just four years, commented:
‘I am absolutely thrilled with this result.
The Ryeland is a wonderful sheep – very easy to handle and with a delightful, docile nature.
It is great to have such a lovely local breed and I am proud to be linked to Herefordshire in this way. Winning such a prestigious prize for my livestock is a tremendous honour.’